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Another question you may wish to ask:

Have we asked our students/faculty what they believe we should be tracking?

I'll promote my team: http://datadoubles.org/  We're asking that at a larger scale and we'll have some research results for you soon. But the question of "do they know and do they actually CONSENT to this tracking" can create some pause. If you have a student group that this question could be posed to, all the better.  Esp if you can show them comparisons with other tools that may be less invasive.


--
Abigail H. Goben, MLS
Associate Professor
Information Services and Liaison Librarian

Library of the Health Sciences
University of Illinois at Chicago
1750 W. Polk (MC 763)
Chicago, IL 60612
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From: DLF Technologies of Surveillance Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Young, Scott
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2019 4:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Help w Google Analytics & Advocacy?


Hi Eliza,



Thanks for reaching out to the ToS Listserv about this issue.



I'm sorry that you're in a crisis-like situation-so stressful!



I can share some of my experience, which hopefully can help bring new ideas into discussions with your administrators.



  *   Do you have any experience using alternatives to GA for your library web analytics? What positive or negative results have you observed or experienced?

     *   My library installed a pilot implementation of Piwik a few years ago, but did not move forward due to the massive server load required to operate Piwik locally. Our systems team reported that we would need a major upgrade to our web server infrastructure to locally host Piwik. (Frankly, this provided a newfound respect for the processing power of Google Analytics, especially their real-time stats.) In response to this, Piwik/Matomo now offers a cloud-hosted version, but for a fee. This is the great advantage of Google Analytics-it's attractive to administrators because it looks free in terms of technical infrastructure and subscription costs. Of course, we know that the tool trades on user data as its currency.

  *   Do you have any experience making the case to administrators that your library should avoid GA? How did it go?

     *   I have spoken with my dean about this, and I would say that there are three main reasons keeping us from moving away from GA:

        *   Status quo: Our library has been using Google Analytics for several years, and its implementation predates my arrival. Keeping things as they are is, of course, a powerful motivator.
        *   University tie-in: Our library website is also connected to our university website via Google Analytics, so that keeps us tied to the service and would have to be accounted for if we moved to Matomo or Open Web Analytics.
        *   Tool ignorance: Not many people know about alternatives to GA, or about the privacy implications of GA. If you can show that Piwik/Matomo offers the same data and analysis that you would need from GA, I think that could be compelling when combined with the privacy-positive argument.

  *   Any (article-length or shorter) readings you would particularly recommend to librarians and/or administrators who want to understand the issues at stake? (See below for our current collection.)

     *   The two resources that Andy shared (thanks Andy!) could definitely help your conversations. I'm happy to talk more about anything you read there, especially the key point that under certain conditions the Google Analytics tracker participates in the vast network of third-party trackers that are capable of leaking user data across the web.
     *   Other resources that might be helpful:

        *   Data Analytics and Patron Privacy in Libraries: A Balancing Act<https://osf.io/xb4mf/#!>, Becky Yoose
        *   Balancing Privacy and Strategic Planning Needs: A Case Study in De-Identification of Patron Data<http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/jifp.v2i1.6250>, Becky Yoose
        *   Which Students Get to Have Privacy?<https://medium.com/message/which-students-get-to-have-privacy-e9773f9a064>, danah boyd
        *   Library Values & Privacy Report<https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/people.uwm.edu/dist/b/524/files/2018/08/LibraryValuesAndPrivacy_Report-28qqhtp.pdf>, Michael Zimmer and Bonnie Tijerina
        *   Librarians, Act Now to Protect Your Users (Before It's Too Late)<https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/12/librarians-act-now-protect-your-users-its-too-late>, EFF

  *   Any other advice or insight you'd like to offer?

     *   I would ask your administrators to articulate what Google Analytics offers that Piwik/Matomo does not, in terms of user data and web traffic analysis. If they don't know that exactly, I would then ask which metrics are specifically important to them. Essentially-what do they want to measure and why? Based on their response, you might be able to demonstrate that Piwik/Matomo is a perfectly capable tool.


Good luck with your meeting next week! Let me know if any follow-up questions or thoughts come up before then, and keep in touch with the ToS Listserv as the situation develops.



All best,
_______________
Scott W. H. Young
Assistant Professor, UX & Assessment Librarian
Montana State University
www.scottwhyoung.com<https://scottwhyoung.com>








________________________________
From: DLF Technologies of Surveillance Group <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> on behalf of Petersen, Andy Boyles <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2019 1:14 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Help w Google Analytics & Advocacy?


Hi Eliza and fellow ToS folks,



Quite sorry to hear you're having to defend your move away from Google Analytics! I'd highly recommend this reading, and the authors might be a good source for further support on this issue: https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/OIR-02-2018-0056



Similarly, Montana State University's grant application A National Forum on Web Privacy and Web Analytics<https://www.lib.montana.edu/privacy-forum/lg-73-18-0100-18-full-proposal.pdf> provides some great insight on the need for web analytics as well as the risks of Google Analytics specifically.



All the best,

Andy





Andy Petersen | Digital Scholarship Librarian

Michigan State University Libraries

517-884-0876 | [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>







From: DLF Technologies of Surveillance Group <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>> On Behalf Of Eliza Bettinger
Sent: Friday, January 4, 2019 12:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Help w Google Analytics & Advocacy?



Happy New Year, ToS-ers!



I'm writing to ask for some impromptu, time-sensitive advice on making a case to library administrators against adopting Google Analytics in service of collecting data about our web pages.



Background:

In 2015, our library switched from Google Analytics to the open-source, locally hosted Piwik for web analytics on our 194 web pages. (For more information, see Chandler, Adam, and Melissa Wallace. "Using Piwik Instead of Google Analytics at the Cornell University Library." The Serials Librarian 71, no. 3-4 (November 16, 2016): 173-79. https://doi.org/10.1080/0361526X.2016.1245645<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__doi.org_10.1080_0361526X.2016.1245645&d=DwMFaQ&c=nE__W8dFE-shTxStwXtp0A&r=JMO0FhaYxL9nxYv90W_P3VI6BwYVjjO3bqXbtbBVc7Q&m=UDFbJInRxrtDcYHXBw46vrzUkWlDeEHaCxuFtwRhJxM&s=VcJRU8N4AiP6H6Xr4BrJObhi-gsITlTWXkiE7CJn9qE&e=> .)



Last year, we got some new administrators, who have asked us our web staff to switch back to Google Analytics. When staff expressed concern over this directive, a meeting was called in which the web staff to will make their anti-GA case to our university librarian and other administrators. I am a public services librarian, and I am not well-versed in the technical aspects of implementing analytics systems, but I was added to the meeting, I believe, because I am generally loud about privacy issues, and teach privacy workshops for patrons and our staff.



At this point, I don't fully understand the administrators' reasoning for wanting to return to GA, but I hope to learn more during the meeting.



Current Problem:

We are scrambling to gather evidence and background for the meeting Monday morning.



Here are my questions for you all:

-- Do you have any experience using alternatives to GA for your library web analytics? What positive or negative results have you observed or experienced?

-- Do you have any experience making the case to administrators that your library should avoid GA? How did it go?

-- Any (article-length or shorter) readings you would particularly recommend to librarians and/or administrators who want to understand the issues at stake? (See below for our current collection.)

-- Any other advice or insight you'd like to offer?



In advance, thank you very much! Your input and support are very appreciated.

Eliza

--

Eliza Bettinger

Digital Humanities Librarian

she/her

Join Cornell's DH Listserv<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__digitalhumanities.library.cornell.edu_contact&d=DwMFaQ&c=nE__W8dFE-shTxStwXtp0A&r=JMO0FhaYxL9nxYv90W_P3VI6BwYVjjO3bqXbtbBVc7Q&m=UDFbJInRxrtDcYHXBw46vrzUkWlDeEHaCxuFtwRhJxM&s=klkmClwOWTeQekmXqMr13MaMKn03nB7lKqLu_6MUnpw&e=>



106 Olin Library

Cornell University

Ithaca NY 14853 USA

607-255-4042 (office)





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